Tik-Tok of Oz
L. Frank Baum

Part 4 out of 4

"Oh, no; I'm quite sure he didn't. They fell
into the big pit in the passage, and we put the
cover on to keep them there; but when the
executioners went to look for them they had all
disappeared from the pit and we could find no
trace of them."

"That's funny," remarked Betsy thoughtfully. "I
don't believe Ann knew any magic, or she'd have
worked it before. But to disappear like that seems
like magic; now, doesn't it?"

They agreed that it did, but no one could
explain the mystery.

"However," said Shaggy, "they are gone, that is
certain, so we cannot help them or be helped by
them. And the important thing just now is to
rescue my dear brother from captivity."

"Why do they call him the Ugly One?" asked

"I do not know," confessed Shaggy. "I can not
remember his looks very well, it is so long since
I have seen him; but all of our family are noted
for their handsome faces."

Betsy laughed and Shaggy seemed rather hurt; but
Polychrome relieved his embarrassment by saying
softly: "One can be ugly in looks, but lovely in

"Our first task," said Shaggy, a little
comforted by this remark, "is to find one of those
secret passages to the Metal Forest."

"True," agreed Kaliko. "So I think I will
assemble the chief nomes of my kingdom in this
throne room and tell them that I am their new
King. Then I can ask them to assist us in
searching for the secret passages.

"That's a good idea," said the dragon, who
seemed to be getting sleepy again.

Kaliko went to the big gong and pounded on it
just as Ruggedo used to do; but no one answered
the summons.

"Of course not," said he, jumping up from the
throne, where he had seated himself. "That is my
call, and I am still the Royal Chamberlain, and
will be until I appoint another in my place."

So he ran out of the room and found Guph and
told him to answer the summons of the King's gong.
Having returned to the royal cavern, Kaliko first
pounded the gong and then sat in the throne,
wearing Ruggedo's discarded ruby crown and holding
in his hand the sceptre which Ruggedo had so often
thrown at his head.

When Guph entered he was amazed.

"Better get out of that throne before old
Ruggedo comes back," he said warningly.

"He isn't coming back, and I am now the King of
the Nomes, in his stead," announced Kaliko.

"All of which is quite true," asserted the
dragon, and all of those who stood around the
throne bowed respectfully to the new King.

Seeing this, Guph also bowed, for he was glad to
be rid of such a hard master as Ruggedo. Then
Kaliko, in quite a kingly way, informed Guph that
he was appointed the Royal Chamberlain, and
promised not to throw the sceptre at his head
unless he deserved it.

All this being pleasantly arranged, the new
Chamberlain went away to tell the news to all the
nomes of the underground Kingdom, every one of
whom would be delighted with the change in Kings.

Chapter Twenty

Quox Quietly Quits

When the chief nomes assembled before their new
King they joyfully saluted him and promised to
obey his commands. But, when Kaliko questioned
them, none knew the way to the Metal Forest,
although all had assisted in its making. So the
King instructed them to search carefully for one
of the passages and to bring him the news as soon
as they had found it.

Meantime Quox had managed to back out of the
rocky corridor and so regain the open air and his
old station on the mountain-side, and there he lay
upon the rocks, sound asleep, until the next day.
The others of the party were all given as good
rooms as the caverns of the nomes afforded, for
King Kaliko felt that he was indebted to them for
his promotion and was anxious to be as hospitable
as he could.

Much wonderment had been caused by the absolute
disappearance of the sixteen officers of Oogaboo
and their Queen. Not a nome had seen them, nor
were they discovered during the search for the
passages leading to the Metal Forest. Perhaps no
one was unhappy over their loss, but all were
curious to know what had become of them.

On the next day, when our friends went to visit
the dragon, Quox said to them: "I must now bid you
good-bye, for my mission here is finished and I
must depart for the other side of the world,
where I belong."

"Will you go through the Tube again?" asked

"To be sure. But it will be a lonely trip this
time, with no one to talk to, and I cannot invite
any of you to go with me. Therefore, as soon as I
slide into the hole I shall go to sleep, and when
I pop out at the other end I will wake up at

They thanked the dragon for befriending them and
wished him a pleasant journey. Also they sent
their thanks to the great Jinjin, whose just
condemnation of Ruggedo had served their interests
so well. Then Quox yawned and stretched himself
and ambled over to the Tube, into which he slid
headforemost and disappeared.

They really felt as if they had lost a friend,
for the dragon had been both kind and sociable
during their brief acquaintance with him; but they
knew it was his duty to return to his own country.
So they went back to the caverns to renew the
search for the hidden passages that led to the
forest, but for three days all efforts to find
them proved in vain.

It was Polychrome's custom to go every day to
the mountain and watch for her father, the
Rainbow, for she was growing tired with wandering
upon the earth and longed to rejoin her sisters in
their sky palaces. And on the third day, while she
sat motionless upon a point of rock, whom should
she see slyly creeping up the mountain but

The former King looked very forlorn. His clothes
were soiled and torn and he had no sandals upon
his feet or hat upon his head. Having left his
crown and sceptre behind when he fled, the old
nome no longer seemed kingly, but more like a

Several times had Ruggedo crept up to the
mouth of the caverns, only to find the six eggs
still on guard. He knew quite well that he must
accept his fate and become a homeless wanderer,
but his chief regret now was that he had neglected
to fill his pockets with gold and jewels. He was
aware that a wanderer with wealth at his command
would fare much better than one who was a pauper,
so he still loitered around the caverns wherein he
knew so much treasure was stored, hoping for a
chance to fill his pockets.

That was how he came to recollect the Metal

"Aha!" said he to himself, "I alone know the way
to that Forest, and once there I can fill my
pockets with the finest jewels in all the world."

He glanced at his pockets and was grieved to
find them so small. Perhaps they might be
enlarged, so that they would hold more. He knew of
a poor woman who lived in a cottage at the foot of
the mountain, so he went to her and begged her to
sew pockets all over his robe, paying her with the
gift of a diamond ring which he had worn upon his
finger. The woman was delighted to possess so
valuable a ring and she sewed as many pockets on
Ruggedo's robe as she possibly could.

Then he returned up the mountain and, after
gazing cautiously around to make sure he was
not observed, he touched a spring in a rock and
it swung slowly backward, disclosing a broad
passageway. This he entered, swinging the rock
in place behind him.

However, Ruggedo had failed to look as carefully
as he might have done, for Polychrome was seated
only a little distance off and her clear eyes
marked exactly the manner in which Ruggedo had
released the hidden spring. So she rose and
hurried into the cavern, where she told Kaliko and
her friends of her discovery.

"I've no doubt that that is a way to the Metal
Forest," exclaimed Shaggy. "Come, let us follow
Ruggedo at once and rescue my poor brother!"

They agreed to this and King Kaliko called
together a band of nomes to assist them by
carrying torches to light their way.

"The Metal Forest has a brilliant light of its
own," said he, "but the passage across the valley
is likely to be dark."

Polychrome easily found the rock and touched the
spring, so in less than an hour after Ruggedo had
entered they were all in the passage and following
swiftly after the former King.

"He means to rob the Forest, I'm sure," said
Kaliko; "but he will find he is no longer of any
account in this Kingdom and I will have my nomes
throw him out."

"Then please throw him as hard as you can," said
Betsy, "for he deserves it. I don't mind an
honest, out-an'-out enemy, who fights square; but
changing girls into fiddles and ordering 'em put
into Slimy Caves is mean and tricky, and Ruggedo
doesn't deserve any sympathy. But you'll have to
let him take as much treasure as he can get in his
pockets, Kaliko."

"Yes, the Jinjin said so; but we won't miss it
much. There is more treasure in the Metal Forest
than a million nomes could carry in their

It was not difficult to walk through this
passage, especially when the torches lighted the
way, so they made good progress. But it proved to
be a long distance and Betsy had tired herself
with walking and was seated upon the back of the
mule when the passage made a sharp turn and a
wonderful and glorious light burst upon them. The
next moment they were all standing upon the edge
of the marvelous Metal Forest.

It lay under another mountain and occupied a
great domed cavern, the roof of which was higher
than a church steeple. In this space the
industrious nomes had built, during many years of
labor, the most beautiful forest in the world. The
trees--trunks, branches and leaves--were all of
solid gold, while the bushes and underbrush were
formed of filigree silver, virgin pure. The trees
towered as high as natural live oaks do and were
of exquisite workmanship.

On the ground were thickly strewn precious gems
of every hue and size, while here and there among
the trees were paths pebbled with cut diamonds of
the clearest water. Taken all together, more
treasure was gathered in this Metal Forest than is
contained in all the rest of the world--if we
except the land of Oz, where perhaps its value is
equalled in the famous Emerald City.

Our friends were so amazed at the sight that for
a while they stood gazing in silent wonder. Then
Shaggy exclaimed.

"My brother! My dear lost brother! Is he indeed
a prisoner in this place?"

"Yes," replied Kaliko. "The Ugly One has been
here for two or three years, to my positive

"But what could he find to eat?" inquired
Betsy. "It's an awfully swell place to live in, but
one can't breakfast on rubies and di'monds, or
even gold."

"One doesn't need to, my dear," Kaliko assured
her. "The Metal Forest does not fill all of this
great cavern, by any means. Beyond these gold and
silver trees are other trees of the real sort,
which bear foods very nice to eat. Let us walk in
that direction, for I am quite sure we will find
Shaggy's brother in that part of the cavern,
rather than in this."

So they began to tramp over the diamond-pebbled
paths, and at every step they were more and more
bewildered by the wondrous beauty of the golden
trees with their glittering foliage.

Suddenly they heard a scream. Jewels scattered
in every direction as some one hidden among the
bushes scampered away before them. Then a loud
voice cried: "Halt!" and there was the sound of a

Chapter Twenty-One

A Bashful Brother

With fast beating hearts they all rushed forward
and, beyond a group of stately metal trees, came
full upon a most astonishing scene.

There was Ruggedo in the hands of the officers
of Oogaboo, a dozen of whom were clinging to the
old nome and holding him fast in spite of his
efforts to escape. There also was Queen Ann,
looking grimly upon the scene of strife; but when
she observed her former companions approaching she
turned away in a shamefaced manner.

For Ann and her officers were indeed a sight to
behold. Her Majesty's clothing, once so rich and
gorgeous, was now worn and torn into shreds by her
long crawl through the tunnel, which, by the way,
had led her directly into the Metal Forest. It
was, indeed, one of the three secret passages, and
by far the most difficult of the three. Ann had
not only torn her pretty skirt and jacket, but her
crown had become bent and battered and even her
shoes were so cut and slashed that they were ready
to fall from her feet.

The officers had fared somewhat worse than their
leader, for holes were worn in the knees of their
trousers, while sharp points of rock in the roof
and sides of the tunnel had made rags of every
inch of their once brilliant uniforms. A more
tattered and woeful army never came out of a
battle, than these harmless victims of the rocky
passage. But it had seemed their only means of
escape from the cruel Nome King; so they had
crawled on, regardless of their sufferings.

When they reached the Metal Forest their eyes
beheld more plunder than they had ever dreamed of;
yet they were prisoners in this huge dome and
could not escape with the riches heaped about
them. Perhaps a more unhappy and homesick lot of
"conquerors" never existed than this band from

After several days of wandering in their
marvelous prison they were frightened by the
discovery that Ruggedo had come among them.
Rendered desperate by their sad condition, the
officers exhibited courage for the first time
since they left home and, ignorant of the fact
that Ruggedo was no longer King of the nomes, they
threw themselves upon him and had just succeeded
in capturing him when their fellow adventurers
reached the spot.

"Goodness gracious!" cried Betsy. "What has
happened to you all?"

Ann came forward to greet them, sorrowful and

"We were obliged to escape from the pit through
a small tunnel, which was lined with sharp and
jagged rocks," said she, "and not only was our
clothing torn to rags but our flesh is so bruised
and sore that we are stiff and lame in every
joint. To add to our troubles we find we are still
prisoners; but now that we have succeeded in
capturing the wicked Metal Monarch we shall force
him to grant us our liberty."

"Ruggedo is no longer Metal Monarch, or King of
the nomes," Files informed her. "He has been
deposed and cast out of his kingdom by Quox; but
here is the new King, whose name is Kaliko, and I
am pleased to assure Your Majesty that he is our

"Glad to meet Your Majesty, I'm sure," said
Kaliko, bowing as courteously as if the Queen
still wore splendid raiment.

The officers, having heard this explanation, now
set Ruggedo free; but, as he had no place to go,
he stood by and faced his former servant, who was
now King in his place, in a humble and pleading

"What are you doing here?" asked Kaliko sternly.

"Why, I was promised as much treasure as I
could carry in my pockets," replied Ruggedo;
"so I came here to get it, not wishing to disturb
Your Majesty."

"You were commanded to leave the country of the
nomes forever!" declared Kaliko.

"I know; and I'll go as soon as I have filled my
pockets," said Ruggedo, meekly.

"Then fill them, and be gone," returned the new

Ruggedo obeyed. Stooping down, he began
gathering up jewels by the handful and stuffing
them into his many pockets. They were heavy
things, these diamonds and rubies and emeralds and
amethysts and the like, so before long Ruggedo was
staggering with the weight he bore, while the
pockets were not yet filled. When he could no
longer stoop over without falling, Betsy and
Polychrome and the Rose Princess came to his
assistance, picking up the finest gems and tucking
them into his pockets.

At last these were all filled and Ruggedo
presented a comical sight, for surely no man ever
before had so many pockets, or any at all filled
with such a choice collection of precious stones.
He neglected to thank the young ladies for their
kindness, but gave them a surly nod of farewell
and staggered down the path by the way he had
come. They let him depart in silence, for with all
he had taken, the masses of jewels upon the ground
seemed scarcely to have been disturbed, so
numerous were they. Also they hoped they had seen
the last of the degraded King.

"I'm awful glad he's gone," said Betsy, sighing
deeply. "If he doesn't get reckless and spend his
wealth foolishly, he's got enough to start a bank
when he gets to Oklahoma."

"But my brother--my dear brother! Where is he?"
inquired Shaggy anxiously. "Have you seen him,
Queen Ann?"

"What does your brother look like?" asked the

Shaggy hesitated to reply, but Betsy said: "He's
called the Ugly One. Perhaps you'll know him by

"The only person we have seen in this cavern,"
said Ann, "has run away from us whenever we
approached him. He hides over yonder, among the
trees that are not gold, and we have never been
able to catch sight of his face. So I can not tell
whether he is ugly or not."

"That must be my dear brother!" exclaimed

"Yes, it must be," assented Kaliko. "No one else
inhabits this splendid dome, so there can be no

"But why does he hide among those green trees,
instead of enjoying all these glittery golden
ones?" asked Betsy.

"Because he finds food among the natural trees,"
replied Kaliko, "and I remember that he has built
a little house there, to sleep in. As for these
glittery golden trees, I will admit they are very
pretty at first sight. One cannot fail to admire
them, as well as the rich jewels scattered beneath
them; but if one has to look at them always, they
become pretty tame."

"I believe that is true," declared Shaggy. "My
dear brother is very wise to prefer real trees to
the imitation ones. But come; let us go there and
find him."

Shaggy started for the green grove at once, and
the others followed him, being curious to witness
the final rescue of his long-sought, long-lost

Not far from the edge of the grove they came
upon a small hut, cleverly made of twigs and
golden branches woven together. As they approached
the place they caught a glimpse of a form that
darted into the hut and slammed the door tight
shut after him.

Shaggy Man ran to the door and cried aloud:

"Brother! Brother!"

"Who calls," demanded a sad, hollow voice
from within.

"It is Shaggy--your own loving brother--who has
been searching for you a long time and has now
come to rescue you."

"Too late!" replied the gloomy voice. "No one
can rescue me now."

"Oh, but you are mistaken about that," said
Shaggy. "There is a new King of the nomes, named
Kaliko, in Ruggedo's place, and he has promised
you shall go free."

"Free! I dare not go free!" said the Ugly One,
in a voice of despair.

"Why not, Brother?" asked Shaggy, anxiously.

"Do you know what they have done to me?" came
the answer through the closed door.

"No. Tell me, Brother, what have they done?"

"When Ruggedo first captured me I was very
handsome. Don't you remember, Shaggy?"

"Not very well, Brother; you were so young when
I left home. But I remember that mother thought
you were beautiful."

"She was right! I am sure she was right," wailed
the prisoner. "But Ruggedo wanted to injure me--to
make me ugly in the eyes of all the world--so he
performed a wicked enchantment. I went to bed
beautiful--or you might say handsome--to be very
modest I will merely claim that I was good-
looking--and I wakened the next morning the
homeliest man in all the world! I am so repulsive
that when I look in a mirror I frighten myself."

"Poor Brother!" said Shaggy softly, and all the
others were silent from sympathy.

"I was so ashamed of my looks," continued the
voice of Shaggy's brother, "that I tried to hide;
but the cruel King Ruggedo forced me to appear
before all the legion of nomes, to whom he said:
'Behold the Ugly One!' But when the nomes saw my
face they all fell to laughing and jeering, which
prevented them from working at their tasks. Seeing
this, Ruggedo became angry and pushed me into a
tunnel, closing the rock entrance so that I could
not get out. I followed the length of the tunnel
until I reached this huge dome, where the
marvelous Metal Forest stands, and here I have
remained ever since."

"Poor Brother!" repeated Shaggy. "But I beg you
now to come forth and face us, who are your
friends. None here will laugh or jeer, however
unhandsome you may be."

"No, indeed," they all added pleadingly.

But the Ugly One refused the invitation.

"I cannot," said he; "indeed, I cannot face
strangers, ugly as I am."

Shaggy Man turned to the group surrounding him.

"What shall I do?" he asked in sorrowful tones.
"I cannot leave my dear brother here, and he
refuses to come out of that house and face us."

"I'll tell you," replied Betsy. "Let him put on
a mask."

"The very idea I was seeking!" exclaimed Shaggy
joyfully; and then he called out: "Brother, put a
mask over your face, and then none of us can see
what your features are like."

"I have no mask," answered the Ugly One.

"Look here," said Betsy; "he can use my

Shaggy looked at the little square of cloth and
shook his head.

"It isn't big enough," he objected; "I'm sure it
isn't big enough to hide a man's face. But he can
use mine."

Saying this he took from his pocket his own
handkerchief and went to the door of the hut.

"Here, my Brother," he called, "take this
handkerchief and make a mask of it. I will also
pass you my knife, so that you may cut holes for
the eyes, and then you must tie it over your

The door slowly opened, just far enough for the
Ugly One to thrust out his hand and take the
handkerchief and the knife. Then it closed again.

"Don't forget a hole for your nose," cried
Betsy. "You must breathe, you know."

For a time there was silence. Queen Ann and her
army sat down upon the ground to rest. Betsy sat
on Hank's back. Polychrome danced lightly up and
down the jeweled paths while Files and the
Princess wandered through the groves arm in arm.
Tik-Tok, who never tired, stood motionless.

By and by a noise sounded from within the hut.

"Are you ready?" asked Shaggy.

"Yes, Brother," came the reply and the door was
thrown open to allow the Ugly One to step forth.

Betsy might have laughed aloud had she not
remembered how sensitive to ridicule Shaggy's
brother was, for the handkerchief with which he
had masked his features was a red one covered with
big white polka dots. In this two holes had been
cut--in front of the eyes--while two smaller ones
before the nostrils allowed the man to breathe
freely. The cloth was then tightly drawn over the
Ugly One's face and knotted at the back of his

He was dressed in clothes that had once been
good, but now were sadly worn and frayed. His silk
stockings had holes in them, and his shoes were
stub-toed and needed blackening. "But what can you
expect," whispered Betsy, "when the poor man has
been a prisoner for so many years?"

Shaggy had darted forward, and embraced his
newly found brother with both his arms. The
brother also embraced Shaggy, who then led him
forward and introduced him to all the assembled

"This is the new Nome King," he said when he
came to Kaliko. "He is our friend, and has granted
you your freedom."

"That is a kindly deed," replied Ugly in a sad
voice, "but I dread to go back to the world in
this direful condition. Unless I remain forever
masked, my dreadful face would curdle all the milk
and stop all the clocks."

"Can't the enchantment be broken in some way?"
inquired Betsy.

Shaggy looked anxiously at Kaliko, who shook his

"I am sure I can't break the enchantment," he
said. "Ruggedo was fond of magic, and learned a
good many enchantments that we nomes know
nothing of."

"Perhaps Ruggedo himself might break his own
enchantment," suggested Ann; "but unfortunately we
have allowed the old King to escape."

"Never mind, my dear Brother," said Shaggy
consolingly; "I am very happy to have found you
again, although I may never see your face. So let
us make the most of this joyful reunion."

The Ugly One was affected to tears by this
tender speech, and the tears began to wet the red
handkerchief; so Shaggy gently wiped them away
with his coat sleeve.

Chapter Twenty-Two

Kindly Kisses

"Won't you be dreadful sorry to leave this lovely
place?" Betsy asked the Ugly One.

"No, indeed," said he. "Jewels and gold are cold
and heartless things, and I am sure I would
presently have died of loneliness had I not found
the natural forest at the edge of the artificial
one. Anyhow, without these real trees I should
soon have starved to death."

Betsy looked around at the quaint trees.

"I don't just understand that," she admitted.
"What could you find to eat here."

"The best food in the world," Ugly answered. "Do
you see that grove at your left?" he added,
pointing it out; "well, such trees as those do not
grow in your country, or in any other place but
this cavern. I have named them 'Hotel Trees,'
because they bear a certain kind of table d'hote
fruit called 'Three-Course Nuts.' "

"That's funny!" said Betsy. "What are the
'Three-Course Nuts' like?"

"Something like cocoanuts, to look at,"
explained the Ugly One. "All you have to do is to
pick one of them and then sit down and eat your
dinner. You first unscrew the top part and find a
cupfull of good soup. After you've eaten that, you
unscrew the middle part and find a hollow filled
with meat and potatoes, vegetables and a fine
salad. Eat that, and unscrew the next section, and
you come to the dessert in the bottom of the nut.
That is, pie and cake, cheese and crackers, and
nuts and raisins. The Three-Course Nuts are not
all exactly alike in flavor or in contents, but
they are all good and in each one may be found a
complete three-course dinner."

"But how about breakfasts?" inquired Betsy.

"Why, there are Breakfast Trees for that, which
grow over there at the right. They bear nuts, like
the others, only the nuts contain coffee or
chocolate, instead of soup; oatmeal instead of
meat-and-potatoes, and fruits instead of dessert.
Sad as has been my life in this wonderful prison,
I must admit that no one could live more
luxuriously in the best hotel in the world than I
have lived here; but I will be glad to get into
the open air again and see the good old sun and
the silvery moon and the soft green grass and the
flowers that are kissed by the morning dew. Ah,
how much more lovely are those blessed things than
the glitter of gems or the cold gleam of gold!"

"Of course," said Betsy. "I once knew a little
boy who wanted to catch the measles, because all
the little boys in his neighborhood but him had
'em, and he was really unhappy 'cause he couldn't
catch 'em, try as he would. So I'm pretty certain
that the things we want, and can't have, are not
good for us. Isn't that true, Shaggy?"

"Not always, my dear," he gravely replied. "If
we didn't want anything, we would never get
anything, good or bad. I think our longings are
natural, and if we act as nature prompts us we
can't go far wrong."

"For my part," said Queen Ann, "I think the
world would be a dreary place without the gold and

"All things are good in their way," said Shaggy;
"but we may have too much of any good thing. And I
have noticed that the value of anything depends
upon how scarce it is, and how difficult it is to

"Pardon me for interrupting you," said King
Kaliko, coming to their side, "but now that we
have rescued Shaggy's brother I would like to
return to my royal cavern. Being the King of the
Nomes, it is my duty to look after my restless
subjects and see that they behave themselves."

So they all turned and began walking through the
Metal Forest to the other side of the great domed
cave, where they had first entered it. Shaggy and
his brother walked side by side and both seemed
rejoiced that they were together after their long
separation. Betsy didn't dare look at the polka
dot handkerchief, for fear she would laugh aloud;
so she walked behind the two brothers and led Hank
by holding fast to his left ear.

When at last they reached the place where the
passage led to the outer world, Queen Ann said, in
a hesitating way that was unusual with her:

"I have not conquered this Nome Country, nor do
I expect to do so; but I would like to gather a
few of these pretty jewels before I leave this

"Help yourself, ma'am," said King Kaliko, and at
once the officers of the Army took advantage of
his royal permission and began filling their
pockets, while Ann tied a lot of diamonds in a big

This accomplished, they all entered the passage,
the nomes going first to light the way with their
torches. They had not proceeded far when Betsy

"Why, there are jewels here, too!"

All eyes were turned upon the ground and they
found a regular trail of jewels strewn along the
rock floor.

"This is queer!" said Kaliko, much surprised. "I
must send some of my nomes to gather up these gems
and replace them in the Metal Forest, where they
belong. I wonder how they came to be here?"

All the way along the passage they found this
trail of jewels, but when they neared the end the
mystery was explained. For there, squatted upon
the floor with his back to the rock wall, sat old
Ruggedo, puffing and blowing as if he was all
tired out. Then they realized it was he who had
scattered the jewels, from his many pockets, which
one by one had burst with the weight of their
contents as he had stumbled along the passage.

"But I don't mind," said Ruggedo, with a deep
sigh. "I now realize that I could not have carried
such a weighty load very far, even had I managed
to escape from this passage with it. The woman who
sewed the pockets on my robe used poor thread, for
which I shall thank her."

"Have you any jewels left?" inquired Betsy.

He glanced into some of the remaining

"A few," said he, "but they will be sufficient
to supply my wants, and I no longer have any
desire to be rich. If some of you will kindly help
me to rise, I'll get out of here and leave you,
for I know you all despise me and prefer my room
to my company."

Shaggy and Kaliko raised the old King to his
feet, when he was confronted by Shaggy's brother,
whom he now noticed for the first time. The queer
and unexpected appearance of the Ugly One so
startled Ruggedo that he gave a wild cry and began
to tremble, as if he had seen a ghost.

"Wh--wh--who is this?" he faltered.

"I am that helpless prisoner whom your cruel
magic transformed from a handsome man into an ugly
one!" answered Shaggy's brother, in a voice of
stern reproach.

"Really, Ruggedo," said Betsy, "you ought to be
ashamed of that mean trick."

"I am, my dear," admitted Ruggedo, who was now
as meek and humble as formerly he had been cruel
and vindictive.

"Then," returned the girl, "you'd better do some
more magic and give the poor man his own face

"I wish I could," answered the old King; "but
you must remember that Tititi-Hoochoo has deprived
me of all my magic powers. However, I never took
the trouble to learn just how to break the charm I
cast over Shaggy's brother, for I intended he
should always remain ugly."

"Every charm," remarked pretty Polychrome, "has
its antidote; and, if you knew this charm of
ugliness, Ruggedo, you must have known how to
dispel it."

He shook his head.

"If I did, I--I've forgotten," he stammered

"Try to think!" pleaded Shaggy, anxiously.
"Please try to think!"

Ruggedo ruffled his hair with both hands,
sighed, slapped his chest, rubbed his ear, and
stared stupidly around the group.

"I've a faint recollection that there was one
thing that would break the charm," said he; "but
misfortune has so addled my brain that I can't
remember what it was."

"See here, Ruggedo," said Betsy, sharply, "we've
treated you pretty well, so far, but we won't
stand for any nonsense, and if you know what's
good for yourself you'll think of that charm!"

"Why?" he demanded, turning to look wonderingly
at the little girl.

"Because it means so much to Shaggy's brother.
He's dreadfully ashamed of himself, the way he is
now, and you're to blame for it. Fact is, Ruggedo,
you've done so much wickedness in your life that
it won't hurt you to do a kind act now."

Ruggedo blinked at her, and sighed again, and
then tried very hard to think.

"I seem to remember, dimly," said he, "that a
certain kind of a kiss will break the charm of

"What kind of a kiss?"

"What kind? Why, it was--it was--it was either
the kiss of a Mortal Maid; or--or--the kiss of a
Mortal Maid who had once been a Fairy; or--or the
kiss of one who is still a Fairy. I can't remember
which. But of course no maid, mortal or fairy,
would ever consent to kiss a person so ugly--so
dreadfully, fearfully, terribly ugly--as Shaggy's

"I'm not so sure of that," said Betsy, with
admirable courage; "I'm a Mortal Maid, and if it
is my kiss that will break this awful charm, I--
I'll do it!"

"Oh, you really couldn't," protested Ugly. "I
would be obliged to remove my mask, and when you
saw my face, nothing could induce you to kiss me,
generous as you are."

"Well, as for that," said the little girl, "I
needn't see your face at all. Here's my plan: You
stay in this dark passage, and we'll send away the
nomes with their torches. Then you'll take off the
handkerchief, and I--I'll kiss you."

"This is awfully kind of you, Betsy!" said
Shaggy, gratefully.

"Well, it surely won't kill me," she replied;
"and, if it makes you and your brother happy, I'm
willing to take some chances."

So Kaliko ordered the torch-bearers to leave the
passage, which they did by going through the rock
opening. Queen Ann and her army also went out; but
the others were so interested in Betsy's
experiment that they remained grouped at the mouth
of the passageway. When the big rock swung into
place, closing tight the opening, they were left
in total darkness.

"Now, then," called Betsy in a cheerful voice,
"have you got that handkerchief off your face,

"Yes," he replied.

"Well, where are you, then?" she asked, reaching
out her arms.

"Here," said he.

"You'll have to stoop down, you know."

He found her hands and clasping them in his own
stooped until his face was near to that of the
little girl. The others heard a clear, smacking
kiss, and then Betsy exclaimed:

"There! I've done it, and it didn't hurt a bit!"

"Tell me, dear brother; is the charm broken?"
asked Shaggy.

"I do not know," was the reply. "It may be, or
it may not be. I cannot tell."

"Has anyone a match?" inquired Betsy.

"I have several," said Shaggy.

"Then let Ruggedo strike one of them and look at
your brother's face, while we all turn our backs.
Ruggedo made your brother ugly, so I guess he can
stand the horror of looking at him, if the charm
isn't broken."

Agreeing to this, Ruggedo took the match and
lighted it. He gave one look and then blew out
the match.

"Ugly as ever!" he said with a shudder. "So it
wasn't the kiss of a Mortal Maid, after all."

"Let me try," proposed the Rose Princess, in her
sweet voice. "I am a Mortal Maid who was once a
Fairy. Perhaps my kiss will break the charm."

Files did not wholly approve of this, but he was
too generous to interfere. So the Rose Princess
felt her way through the darkness to Shaggy's
brother and kissed him.

Ruggedo struck another match, while they all
turned away.

"No," announced the former King; "that didn't
break the charm, either. It must be the kiss of a
Fairy that is required--or else my memory has
failed me altogether."

"Polly," said Betsy, pleadingly, "won't you

"Of course I will!" answered Polychrome, with a
merry laugh. "I've never kissed a mortal man in
all the thousands of years I have existed, but
I'll do it to please our faithful Shaggy Man,
whose unselfish affection for his ugly brother
deserves to be rewarded."

Even as Polychrome was speaking she tripped
lightly to the side of the Ugly One and quickly
touched his cheek with her lips.

"Oh, thank you--thank you!" he fervently cried.
"I've changed, this time, I know. I can feel it!
I'm different. Shaggy--dear Shaggy--I am myself

Files, who was near the opening, touched the
spring that released the big rock and it suddenly
swung backward and let in a flood of daylight.

Everyone stood motionless, staring hard at
Shaggy's brother, who, no longer masked by the
polka-dot handkerchief, met their gaze with a
glad smile.

"Well," said Shaggy Man, breaking the silence at
last and drawing a long, deep breath of
satisfaction, "you are no longer the Ugly One, my
dear brother; but, to be entirely frank with you,
the face that belongs to you is no more handsome
than it ought to be."

"I think he's rather good looking," remarked
Betsy, gazing at the man critically.

"In comparison with what he was," said King
Kaliko, "he is really beautiful. You, who never
beheld his ugliness, may not understand that; but
it was my misfortune to look at the Ugly One many
times, and I say again that, in comparison with
what he was, the man is now beautiful."

"All right," returned Betsy, briskly, "we'll
take your word for it, Kaliko. And now let us get
out of this tunnel and into the world again."

Chapter Twenty-Three

Ruggedo Reforms

It did not take them long to regain the royal
cavern of the Nome King, where Kaliko ordered
served to them the nicest refreshments the place

Ruggedo had come trailing along after the rest
of the party and while no one paid any attention
to the old King they did not offer any objection
to his presence or command him to leave them. He
looked fearfully to see if the eggs were still
guarding the entrance, but they had now
disappeared; so he crept into the cavern after the
others and humbly squatted down in a corner of the

There Betsy discovered him. All of the little
girl's companions were now so happy at the success
of Shaggy's quest for his brother, and the
laughter and merriment seemed so general, that
Betsy's heart softened toward the friendless old
man who had once been their bitter enemy, and she
carried to him some of the food and drink.
Ruggedo's eyes filled with tears at this
unexpected kindness. He took the child's hand in
his own and pressed it gratefully.

"Look here, Kaliko," said Betsy, addressing the
new King, "what's the use of being hard on
Ruggedo? All his magic power is gone, so he can't
do any more harm, and I'm sure he's sorry he acted
so badly to everybody."

"Are you?" asked Kaliko, looking down at his
former master.

"I am," said Ruggedo. "The girl speaks truly.
I'm sorry and I'm harmless. I don't want to wander
through the wide world, on top of the ground, for
I'm a nome. No nome can ever be happy any place
but underground."

"That being the case," said Kaliko, "I will let
you stay here as long as you behave yourself;
but, if you try to act badly again, I shall drive
you out, as Tititi-Hoochoo has commanded, and
you'll have to wander."

"Never fear. I'll behave," promised Ruggedo. "It
is hard work being a King, and harder still to be
a good King. But now that I am a common nome I am
sure I can lead a blameless life."

They were all pleased to hear this and to know
that Ruggedo had really reformed.

"I hope he'll keep his word," whispered Betsy to
Shaggy; "but if he gets bad again we will be far
away from the Nome Kingdom and Kaliko will have to
'tend to the old nome himself."

Polychrome had been a little restless during the
last hour or two. The lovely Daughter of the Rainbow
knew that she had now done all in her power to
assist her earth friends, and so she began to long
for her sky home.

"I think," she said, after listening intently,
"that it is beginning to rain. The Rain King is my
uncle, you know, and perhaps he has read my
thoughts and is going to help me. Anyway I must
take a look at the sky and make sure."

So she jumped up and ran through the passage to
the outer entrance, and they all followed after
her and grouped themselves on a ledge of the
mountain-side. Sure enough, dark clouds had filled
the sky and a slow, drizzling rain had set in.

"It can't last for long," said Shaggy, looking
upward, "and when it stops we shall lose the sweet
little fairy we have learned to love. Alas," he
continued, after a moment, "the clouds are already
breaking in the west, and--see!--isn't that the
Rainbow coming?"

Betsy didn't look at the sky; she looked at
Polychrome, whose happy, smiling face surely
foretold the coming of her father to take her to
the Cloud Palaces. A moment later a gleam of
sunshine flooded the mountain and a gorgeous
Rainbow appeared.

With a cry of gladness Polychrome sprang upon a
point of rock and held out her arms. Straightway
the Rainbow descended until its end was at her
very feet, when with a graceful leap she sprang
upon it and was at once clasped in
the arms of her radiant sisters, the Daughters of
the Rainbow. But Polychrome released herself
to lean over the edge of the glowing arch and
nod, and smile and throw a dozen kisses to her
late comrades.

"Good-bye!" she called, and they all shouted
"Good-bye!" in return and waved their hands to
their pretty friend.

Slowly the magnificent bow lifted and melted
into the sky, until the eyes of the earnest
watchers saw only fleecy clouds flitting across
the blue.

"I'm dreadful sorry to see Polychrome go,"
said Betsy, who felt like crying; "but I s'pose
she'll be a good deal happier with her sisters in
the sky palaces."

"To be sure," returned Shaggy, nodding
gravely. "It's her home, you know, and those
poor wanderers who, like ourselves, have no
home, can realize what that means to her."

"Once," said Betsy, "I, too, had a home. Now,
I've only--only--dear old Hank!"

She twined her arms around her shaggy friend who
was not human, and he said: "Hee-haw!" in a tone
that showed he understood her mood. And the shaggy
friend who was human stroked the child's head
tenderly and said: "You're wrong about that,
Betsy, dear. I will never desert you."

"Nor I!" exclaimed Shaggy's brother, in earnest

The little girl looked up at them gratefully,
and her eyes smiled through their tears.

"All right," she said. "It's raining again, so
let's go back into the cavern."

Rather soberly, for all loved Polychrome and
would miss her, they reentered the dominions of
the Nome King.

Chapter Twenty-Four

Dorothy is Delighted

"Well," said Queen Ann, when all were again seated
in Kaliko's royal cavern, "I wonder what we shall
do next. If I could find my way back to Oogaboo
I'd take my army home at once, for I'm sick and
tired of these dreadful hardships."

"Don't you want to conquer the world?" asked Betsy.

"No; I've changed my mind about that," admitted
the Queen. "The world is too big for one person to
conquer and I was happier with my own people in
Oogaboo. I wish--Oh, how earnestly I wish--that I
was back there this minute!"

"So do I!" yelled every officer in a fervent

Now, it is time for the reader to know that in
the far-away Land of Oz the lovely Ruler, Ozma,
had been following the adventures of her Shaggy
Man, and Tik-Tok, and all the others they had met.
Day by day Ozma, with the wonderful Wizard of Oz
seated beside her, had gazed upon a Magic Picture
in a radium frame, which occupied one side of the
Ruler's cosy boudoir in the palace of the Emerald
City. The singular thing about this Magic Picture
was that it showed whatever scene Ozma wished to
see, with the figures all in motion, just as it
was taking place. So Ozma and the Wizard had
watched every action of the adventurers from the
time Shaggy had met shipwrecked Betsy and Hank in
the Rose Kingdom, at which time the Rose Princess,
a distant cousin of Ozma, had been exiled by her
heartless subjects.

When Ann and her people so earnestly wished to
return to Oogaboo, Ozma was sorry for them and
remembered that Oogaboo was a corner of the Land
of Oz. She turned to her attendant and asked:

"Can not your magic take these unhappy people to
their old home, Wizard?"

"It can, Your Highness," replied the little

"I think the poor Queen has suffered enough in
her misguided effort to conquer the world," said
Ozma, smiling at the absurdity of the undertaking,
"so no doubt she will hereafter be contented in
her own little Kingdom. Please send her there,
Wizard, and with her the officers and Files."

"How about the Rose Princess?" asked the Wizard.

"Send her to Oogaboo with Files," answered Ozma.
"They have become such good friends that I am sure
it would make them unhappy to separate them."

"Very well," said the Wizard, and without any
fuss or mystery whatever he performed a magical
rite that was simple and effective. Therefore
those seated in the Nome King's cavern were both
startled and amazed when all the people of Oogaboo
suddenly disappeared from the room, and with them
the Rose Princess. At first they could not
understand it at all; but presently Shaggy
suspected the truth, and believing that Ozma was
now taking an interest in the party he drew from
his pocket a tiny instrument which he placed
against his ear.

Ozma, observing this action in her Magic
Picture, at once caught up a similar instrument
from a table beside her and held it to her own
ear. The two instruments recorded the same
delicate vibrations of sound and formed a wireless
telephone, an invention of the Wizard. Those
separated by any distance were thus enabled to
converse together with perfect ease and without
any wire connection.

"Do you hear me, Shaggy Man?" asked Ozma.

"Yes, Your Highness," he replied.

"I have sent the people of Oogaboo back to their
own little valley," announced the Ruler of Oz; "so
do not worry over their disappearance."

"That was very kind of you," said Shaggy. "But
Your Highness must permit me to report that my own
mission here is now ended. I have found my lost
brother, and he is now beside me, freed from the
enchantment of ugliness which Ruggedo cast upon
him. Tik-Tok has served me and my comrades
faithfully, as you requested him to do, and I hope
you will now transport the Clockwork Man back to
your fairyland of Oz."

"I will do that," replied Ozma. "But how
about yourself, Shaggy?"

"I have been very happy in Oz," he said, "but my
duty to others forces me to exile myself from that
delightful land. I must take care of my new-found
brother, for one thing, and I have a new comrade
in a dear little girl named Betsy Bobbin, who has
no home to go to, and no other friends but me and
a small donkey named Hank. I have promised Betsy
never to desert her as long as she needs a friend,
and so I must give up the delights of the Land of
Oz forever."

He said this with a sigh of regret, and Ozma
made no reply but laid the tiny instrument on her
table, thus cutting off all further communication
with the Shaggy Man. But the lovely Ruler of Oz
still watched her magic picture, with a thoughtful
expression upon her face, and the little Wizard of
Oz watched Ozma and smiled softly to himself.

In the cavern of the Nome King Shaggy replaced
the wireless telephone in his pocket and turning
to Betsy said in as cheerful a voice as he could

"Well, little comrade, what shall we do next?"

"I don't know, I'm sure," she answered with a
puzzled face. "I'm kind of sorry our adventures
are over, for I enjoyed them, and now that Queen
Ann and her people are gone, and Polychrome is
gone, and--dear me!--where's Tik-Tok, Shaggy?"

"He also has disappeared," said Shaggy, looking
around the cavern and nodding wisely. "By this
time he is in Ozma's palace in the Land of Oz,
which is his home."

"Isn't it your home, too?" asked Betsy.

"It used to be, my dear; but now my home is
wherever you and my brother are. We are wanderers,
you know, but if we stick together I am sure we
shall have a good time."

"Then," said the girl, "let us get out of this
stuffy, underground cavern and go in search of
new adventures. I'm sure it has stopped raining."

"I'm ready," said Shaggy, and then they bade
good-bye to King Kaliko, and thanked him for
his assistance, and went out to the mouth of
the passage.

The sky was now clear and a brilliant blue in
color; the sun shone brightly and even this
rugged, rocky country seemed delightful after
their confinement underground. There were but four
of them now--Betsy and Hank, and Shaggy and his
brother--and the little party made their way down
the mountain and followed a faint path that led
toward the southwest.

During this time Ozma had been holding a
conference with the Wizard, and later with Tik-
Tok, whom the magic of the Wizard had quickly
transported to Ozma's palace. Tik-Tok had only
words of praise for Betsy Bobbin, "who," he said,
"is al-most as nice as Dor-o-thy her-self."

"Let us send for Dorothy," said Ozma, and
summoning her favorite maid, who was named Jellia
Jamb, she asked her to request Princess Dorothy to
attend her at once. So a few moments later Dorothy
entered Ozma's room and greeted her and the Wizard
and Tik-Tok with the same gentle smile and simple
manner that had won for the little girl the love
of everyone she met.

"Did you want to see me, Ozma?" she asked.

"Yes, dear. I am puzzled how to act, and I want
your advice."

"I don't b'lieve it's worth much," replied
Dorothy, "but I'll do the best I can. What is it
all about, Ozma?"

"You all know," said the girl Ruler, addressing
her three friends, "what a serious thing it is to
admit any mortals into this fairyland of Oz. It is
true I have invited several mortals to make their
home here, and all of them have proved true and
loyal subjects. Indeed, no one of you three was a
native of Oz. Dorothy and the Wizard came here
from the United States, and Tik-Tok came from the
Land of Ev. But of course he is not a mortal.
Shaggy is another American, and he is the cause of
all my worry, for our dear Shaggy will not return
here and desert the new friends he has found in
his recent adventures, because he believes they
need his services."

"Shaggy Man was always kind-hearted," remarked
Dorothy. "But who are these new friends he has

"One is his brother, who for many years has been
a prisoner of the Nome King, our old enemy
Ruggedo. This brother seems a kindly, honest
fellow, but he has done nothing to entitle him to
a home in the Land of Oz."

"Who else?" asked Dorothy.

"I have told you about Betsy Bobbin, the little
girl who was shipwrecked--in much the same way you
once were--and has since been following the Shaggy
Man in his search for his lost brother. You
remember her, do you not?"

"Oh, yes!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I've often
watched her and Hank in the Magic Picture, you
know. She's a dear little girl, and old Hank is a
darling! Where are they now?"

"Look and see," replied Ozma with a smile at
her friend's enthusiasm.

Dorothy turned to the Picture, which showed
Betsy and Hank, with Shaggy and his brother,
trudging along the rocky paths of a barren

"Seems to me," she said, musingly, "that
they're a good way from any place to sleep, or
any nice things to eat."

"You are right," said Tik-Tok. "I have been in
that coun-try, and it is a wil-der-ness."

"It is the country of the nomes," explained the
Wizard, "who are so mischievous that no one cares
to live near them. I'm afraid Shaggy and his
friends will endure many hardships before they get
out of that rocky place, unless--"

He turned to Ozma and smiled.

"Unless I ask you to transport them all here?"
she asked.

"Yes, your Highness."

"Could your magic do that?" inquired Dorothy.

"I think so," said the Wizard.

"Well," said Dorothy, "as far as Betsy and Hank
are concerned, I'd like to have them here in Oz.
It would be such fun to have a girl playmate of my
own age, you see. And Hank is such a dear little

Ozma laughed at the wistful expression in the
girl's eyes, and then she drew Dorothy to her and
kissed her.

"Am I not your friend and playmate?" she asked.

Dorothy flushed.

"You know how dearly I love you, Ozma!" she
cried. "But you're so busy ruling all this Land of
Oz that we can't always be together."

"I know, dear. My first duty is to my subjects,
and I think it would be a delight to us all to
have Betsy with us. There's a pretty suite of
rooms just opposite your own where she can live,
and I'll build a golden stall for Hank in the
stable where the Sawhorse lives. Then we'll
introduce the mule to the Cowardly Lion and the
Hungry Tiger, and I'm sure they will soon become
firm friends. But I cannot very well admit Betsy
and Hank into Oz unless I also admit Shaggy's

"And, unless you admit Shaggy's brother, you
will keep out poor Shaggy, whom we are all very
fond of," said the Wizard.

"Well, why not ad-mit him?" demanded Tik-Tok.

"The Land of Oz is not a refuge for all mortals
in distress," explained Ozma. "I do not wish to be
unkind to Shaggy Man, but his brother has no claim
on me."

"The Land of Oz isn't crowded," suggested

"Then you advise me to admit Shaggy's brother?"
inquired Ozma.

"Well, we can't afford to lose our Shaggy Man,
can we?"

"No, indeed!" returned Ozma. "What do you say,

"I'm getting my magic ready to transport them

"And you, Tik-Tok?"

"Shag-gy's broth-er is a good fel-low, and we
can't spare Shag-gy."

"So, then; the question is settled," decided
Ozma. "Perform your magic, Wizard!"

He did so, placing a silver plate upon a small
standard and pouring upon the plate a small
quantity of pink powder which was contained in a
crystal vial. Then he muttered a rather difficult
incantation which the sorceress Glinda the Good
had taught him, and it all ended in a puff of
perfumed smoke from the silver plate. This smoke
was so pungent that it made both Ozma and Dorothy
rub their eyes for a moment.

"You must pardon these disagreeable fumes," said
the Wizard. "I assure you the smoke is a very
necessary part of my wizardry."

"Look!" cried Dorothy, pointing to the Magic
Picture; "they're gone! All of them are gone."

Indeed, the picture now showed the same rocky
landscape as before, but the three people and the
mule had disappeared from it.

"They are gone," said the Wizard, polishing the
silver plate and wrapping it in a fine cloth,
"because they are here."

At that moment Jellia Jamb entered the room.

"Your Highness," she said to Ozma, "the Shaggy
Man and another man are in the waiting room and
ask to pay their respects to you. Shaggy is crying
like a baby, but he says they are tears of joy."

"Send them here at once, Jellia!" commanded Ozma.

"Also," continued the maid, "a girl and a small-
sized mule have mysteriously arrived, but they
don't seem to know where they are or how they came
here. Shall I send them here, too?"

"Oh, no!" exclaimed Dorothy, eagerly jumping up
from her chair; "I'll go to meet Betsy myself,
for she'll feel awful strange in this big palace."

And she ran down the stairs two at a time to
greet her new friend, Betsy Bobbin.

Chapter Twenty-Five

The Land of Love

"Well, is 'hee-haw' all you are able to say?"
inquired the Sawhorse, as he examined Hank with
his knot eyes and slowly wagged the branch that
served him for a tail.

They were in a beautiful stable in the rear of
Ozma's palace, where the wooden Sawhorse--very
much alive--lived in a gold-paneled stall, and
where there were rooms for the Cowardly Lion and
the Hungry Tiger, which were filled with soft
cushions for them to lie upon and golden troughs
for them to eat from.

Beside the stall of the Sawhorse had been placed
another for Hank, the mule. This was not quite so
beautiful as the other, for the Sawhorse was
Ozma's favorite steed; but Hank had a supply of
cushions for a bed (which the Sawhorse did not
need because he never slept) and all this luxury
was so strange to the little mule that he could
only stand still and regard his surroundings and
his queer companions with wonder and amazement.

The Cowardly Lion, looking very dignified, was
stretched out upon the marble floor of the stable,
eyeing Hank with a calm and critical gaze, while
near by crouched the huge Hungry Tiger, who seemed
equally interested in the new animal that had just
arrived. The Sawhorse, standing stiffly before
Hank, repeated his question:

"Is 'hee-haw' all you are able to say?"

Hank moved his ears in an embarrassed manner.

"I have never said anything else, until now," he
replied; and then he began to tremble with fright
to hear himself talk.

"I can well understand that," remarked the Lion,
wagging his great head with a swaying motion.
"Strange things happen in this Land of Oz, as they
do everywhere else. I believe you came here from
the cold, civilized, outside world, did you not?"

"I did," replied Hank. "One minute I was outside
of Oz--and the next minute I was inside! That was
enough to give me a nervous shock, as you may
guess; but to find myself able to talk, as Betsy
does, is a marvel that staggers me."

"That is because you are in the Land of Oz,"
said the Sawhorse. "All animals talk, in this
favored country, and you must admit it is more
sociable than to bray your dreadful 'hee-haw,'
which nobody can understand."

"Mules understand it very well," declared Hank.

"Oh, indeed! Then there must be other mules in
your outside world," said the Tiger, yawning

"There are a great many in America," said Hank.
"Are you the only Tiger in Oz?"

"No," acknowledged the Tiger, "I have many
relatives living in the Jungle Country; but I am
the only Tiger living in the Emerald City."

"There are other Lions, too," said the Sawhorse;
"but I am the only horse, of any description, in
this favored Land."

"That is why this Land is favored," said the
Tiger. "You must understand, friend Hank, that the
Sawhorse puts on airs because he is shod with
plates of gold, and because our beloved Ruler,
Ozma of Oz, likes to ride upon his back."

"Betsy rides upon my back," declared Hank

"Who is Betsy?"

"The dearest, sweetest girl in all the world!"

The Sawhorse gave an angry snort and stamped his
golden feet. The Tiger crouched and growled.
Slowly the great Lion rose to his feet, his mane

"Friend Hank," said he, "either you are mistaken
in judgment or you are willfully trying to deceive
us. The dearest, sweetest girl in the world is our
Dorothy, and I will fight anyone--animal or human--
who dares to deny it!"

"So will I!" snarled the Tiger, showing two
rows of enormous white teeth.

"You are all wrong!" asserted the Sawhorse in a
voice of scorn. "No girl living can compare with
my mistress, Ozma of Oz!"

Hank slowly turned around until his heels were
toward the others. Then he said stubbornly:

"I am not mistaken in my statement, nor will I
admit there can be a sweeter girl alive than Betsy
Bobbin. If you want to fight, come on--I'm ready
for you!"

While they hesitated, eyeing Hank's heels
doubtfully, a merry peal of laughter startled the
animals and turning their heads they beheld three
lovely girls standing just within the richly
carved entrance to the stable. In the center was
Ozma, her arms encircling the waists of Dorothy
and Betsy, who stood on either side of her. Ozma
was nearly half a head taller than the two other
girls, who were almost of one size. Unobserved,
they had listened to the talk of the animals,
which was a very strange experience indeed to
little Betsy Bobbin.

"You foolish beasts!" exclaimed the Ruler of Oz,
in a gentle but chiding voice. "Why should you
fight to defend us, who are all three loving
friends and in no sense rivals? Answer me!" she
continued, as they bowed their heads sheepishly.

"I have the right to express my opinion, your
Highness," pleaded the Lion.

"And so have the others," replied Ozma. "I am
glad you and the Hungry Tiger love Dorothy best,
for she was your first friend and companion. Also
I am pleased that my Sawhorse loves me best, for
together we have endured both joy and sorrow. Hank
has proved his faith and loyalty by defending his
own little mistress; and so you are all right in
one way, but wrong in another. Our Land of Oz is a
Land of Love, and here friendship outranks every
other quality. Unless you can all be friends, you
cannot retain our love."

They accepted this rebuke very meekly.

"All right," said the Sawhorse, quite
cheerfully; "shake hoofs, friend Mule."

Hank touched his hoof to that of the wooden

"Let us be friends and rub noses," said the
Tiger. So Hank modestly rubbed noses with the big

The Lion merely nodded and said, as he crouched
before the mule:

"Any friend of a friend of our beloved Ruler is
a friend of the Cowardly Lion. That seems to cover
your case. If ever you need help or advice, friend
Hank, call on me."

"Why, this is as it should be," said Ozma,
highly pleased to see them so fully reconciled.
Then she turned to her companions: "Come, my
dears, let us resume our walk."

As they turned away Betsy said wonderingly:

"Do all the animals in Oz talk as we do?"

"Almost all," answered Dorothy. "There's a
Yellow Hen here, and she can talk, and so can her
chickens; and there's a Pink Kitten upstairs in my
room who talks very nicely; but I've a little
fuzzy black dog, named Toto, who has been with me
in Oz a long time, and he's never said a single
word but 'Bow-wow!'"

"Do you know why?" asked Ozma.

"Why, he's a Kansas dog; so I s'pose he's
different from these fairy animals," replied

"Hank isn't a fairy animal, any more than Toto,"
said Ozma, "yet as soon as he came under the spell
of our fairyland he found he could talk. It was
the same way with Billina, the Yellow Hen whom you
brought here at one time. The same spell has
affected Toto, I assure you; but he's a wise
little dog and while he knows everything that is
said to him he prefers not to talk."

"Goodness me!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I never
s'pected Toto was fooling me all this time." Then
she drew a small silver whistle from her pocket
and blew a shrill note upon it. A moment later
there was a sound of scurrying footsteps, and a
shaggy black dog came running up the path.

Dorothy knelt down before him and shaking her
finger just above his nose she said:

"Toto, haven't I always been good to you?"

Toto looked up at her with his bright black eyes
and wagged his tail.

"Bow-wow!" he said, and Betsy knew at once that
meant yes, as well as Dorothy and Ozma knew it,
for there was no mistaking the tone of Toto's

"That's a dog answer," said Dorothy. "How would
you like it, Toto, if I said nothing to you but

Toto's tail was wagging furiously now, but
otherwise he was silent.

"Really, Dorothy," said Betsy, "he can talk with
his bark and his tail just as well as we can.
Don't you understand such dog language?"

"Of course I do," replied Dorothy. "But Toto's
got to be more sociable. See here, sir!" she
continued, addressing the dog, "I've just learned,
for the first time, that you can say words--if you
want to. Don't you want to, Toto?"

"Woof!" said Toto, and that meant "no."

"Not just one word, Toto, to prove you're as
any other animal in Oz?"


"Just one word, Toto--and then you may run

He looked at her steadily a moment.

"All right. Here I go!" he said, and darted away
as swift as an arrow.

Dorothy clapped her hands in delight, while
Betsy and Ozma both laughed heartily at her
pleasure and the success of her experiment. Arm in
arm they sauntered away through the beautiful
gardens of the palace, where magnificent flowers
bloomed in abundance and fountains shot their
silvery sprays far into the air. And by and by, as
they turned a corner, they came upon Shaggy Man
and his brother, who were seated together upon a
golden bench.

The two arose to bow respectfully as the Ruler
of Oz approached them.

"How are you enjoying our Land of Oz?" Ozma
asked the stranger.

"I am very happy here, Your Highness," replied
Shaggy's brother. "Also I am very grateful to you
for permitting me to live in this delightful

"You must thank Shaggy for that," said Ozma.
"Being his brother, I have made you welcome here."

"When you know Brother better," said Shaggy
earnestly, "you will be glad he has become one of
your loyal subjects. I am just getting acquainted
with him myself and I find much in his character
to admire."

Leaving the brothers, Ozma and the girls
continued their walk. Presently Betsy exclaimed:

"Shaggy's brother can't ever be as happy in Oz
as I am. Do you know, Dorothy, I didn't believe
any girl could ever have such a good time--
anywhere--as I'm having now?"

"I know," answered Dorothy. "I've felt that way
myself, lots of times."

"I wish," continued Betsy, dreamily, "that every
little girl in the world could live in the Land of
Oz; and every little boy, too!"

Ozma laughed at this.

"It is quite fortunate for us, Betsy, that your
wish cannot be granted," said she, "for all that
army of girls and boys would crowd us so that we
would have to move away."

"Yes," agreed Betsy, after a little thought, "I
guess that's true."


The Wonderful Oz Books by L. Frank Baum



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